Red Onions vs White Onions, Which One’s Healthier?

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red onion vs white onion

Red Onions vs White Onions

When it comes to onions, we have plenty of choices, red, yellow, or white. Have you ever wondered which type of onion is healthier?

Both types of onions are powerful superfoods with anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Onions are packed with beneficial nutrients and compounds.

Many think that the only difference is the appearance and taste, but when you examine the nutritional differences of red onions vs white onions, one contains more health benefits than the other.

Red onions have a deep purple layer of outer skin and are most often used raw, in salads, sandwiches, or dips. White onions have a more mild flavor and an off white or white colored skin.

What’s the Difference Red Onions vs White Onions

There are quite a few commonalities between both red and white onions. Both types of onions are considered low on the glycemic index, with a rating of 10. They both also provide about 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and the same amount of calcium per serving.

Although white onions contain .5 more grams of fiber and a higher amount of sulfur, red onions have been found to contain a higher amount of many other beneficial nutrients.

So, pull out your red onions and whip up a dish to throw them in!

In general, the rule is that onions with a sharply strong taste, such as red onions, contain a higher amount of antioxidants. Red onions also win in the category of cancer prevention and blood thinning properties. Additionally, red onions contain less sugar compared to white onions, which is where they get their sweet taste from.

– Antioxidant Properties

Overall, red onions contain a higher amount of antioxidant compounds. They are higher in total flavonoids than white onions and yellow onions are considered to be in the middle. Red onions contain 415 to 1917 mg of flavonols compared to yellow ones, which only contain 270 to 1187 mg.

One of the most beneficial compounds in red onions is quercetin, which is a polyphenol compound. Quercetin is a powerful compound which is beneficial for scavenging free radicals in the body.

Red onions are also richer in anthocyanins which give them the red/purple color. Red onions were found to contain at least 25 different anthocyanins.

– Cancer Fighting

Due to the high amount of antioxidant properties contained in red onions compared to white, red onions provide stronger protection against cancer.

The quercetin and allicin in red onions have been shown to reduce inflammation and be beneficial for both the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Studies have shown that the consumption of onions reduces the risk of stomach, colorectal, oral, laryngeal, esophageal and  ovarian cancer. According to one study, the risk of stomach cancer was reduced by 50% when half an onion was eaten daily.

– Blood Thinning

Both types of onions have blood thinning properties as they contain a high amount of flavonoids and sulfur compounds. However, red onions are an even more effective natural blood thinner as they are richer in flavonoids, which helps thin the blood.

How to Get the Most Benefit

The level of antioxidant flavonoids has been found to be much higher in the outer most layers of the onion. So make sure not to over peel, those outer layers have the most nutrients. According to a recent study peeling the first two layers of the onion removes 75 % of the antioxidant anthocyanins.

Make sure to get enough servings of onions into your diet, it is recommended that individuals eat at least 3 onions every week to get optimal benefits for preventing cancer.

For most benefit, make sure to include a variety of onions in your diet, but especially make sure to have at least one red onion a week!


Which do you include in your diet red onions or white onions?



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  1. says

    I tend to get the yellow onions simply because they are more readily available in my local grocery stores. But sometimes I use red onions and I find them to be more pungent.

  2. says

    My kids love onion juice with honey!
    And its the BEST cure for colds and coughs. My daughter suffered with chest infections every two weeks for 2 years(she was aspirating due to drinks getting into her lungs).No doctor or medicine did anything for her. At 2 years of age she was the size of a 6-9 months child, we were seeing paediatrician every two weeks. After one the visits and another prescription of a stronger inhalator I went the home remedy way. She was taking onion juice with Manuka+25 for two weeks and on our next doc visit her lungs were clear for the first time in over a year! She gained 500gr in this 2 weeks which was more then in a year prior to it! Since then she had improved tremendously! Even she still gets liquids in her lungs, but at the first sing I give her the remedy and she is back to normal in 2-3 days :)

    • Anonymous says

      I have allergy on white onion and garlic but when I eat raw red onion, I have no allergy reaction and now I see why after reading this.

  3. Margo says

    I buy a variety of onions an will eat them at any meal. Funny how I hated them when I was a kid. My husband doesn’t care for red onions though. He says they are too strong.

  4. Mohamed Shukairi says

    I have been eating red onions for almost one,
    and long headache problem is completely gone.
    Thanks to what is in.the.onions.

  5. ekpedeme umo says


  6. yakubu says

    I used to have low erection, but since I started taking raw red onion about two months ago, I am ok. Thanks to the healing power of onion

    • Sanjay says

      I was wondering how many red raw onions you ate a day/week to get rid of your erection problem? Thanks.

  7. Aurora says

    Onion is excellent for people who suffer from asthma or bronquitis. Definitively it cures it. In a juice extractor put an onion head and adds honey. Keep it refrigerated in a dark container. Take 1 spoon during the morning and other spoon during the evening for a month.

  8. LaustCawz says

    I love white onions & yellow onions, but I HATE red onions. I think they taste like crap,
    yet more & more eating places (fast food, delis, restaurants) keep switching to ONLY red onions,
    giving me no choice but to either bring & add my own onions or eat somewhere else.
    This is quite pathetic. As for red onions being “healthier”, I have a tough time taking that seriously,
    since most of the “health” advice we’ve been subjected to for decades is oriented towards what’s best for females,
    which is significantly different from what’s best for males. Interesting, also, that so many of the dieticians
    & nutritionists who’ve basically made a career out of telling people what & what not to eat are…women.

    • Anonymous says

      Just a Suggestion Cross reference all material that crosses your path and then once solidified with credibility should you allow yourself to “blast off your negative vibe”; when regarding positive thoughts and suggestions. In regards to the health benefits of onions, it is not catering to only women. Human cells differentiate slightly between male and female and within our own body (DNA, RNA,) , respectively ( “I” refuse to go into detail). With that said eat your white or yellow and please stay home and avoid the red if you must. This was an post to remind eat healthful and remedy your ailments…amazing!!! :)

  9. emeka says

    I take fresh white onions ,cucumber, letuce and tomatoes and green tea with honey atleast trice in a week, wot health benefits do i stand to derive. tanx

  10. Roston says

    White Onion is seldom here I’m lucky my taste buds can tolerate Red Onion its all bout training our taste buds

  11. Ashutosh Mahajan says

    TB patients can try this :- Chop the onion fine, immediately inhale the fumes deeply & hold your breath as far as you can. Do this 3 times at a moment & 3 times a day. I am sure this can kill the Multi-Drug Resistant TB too.

  12. Agnes C. says

    Red Onions I luv it!!! I suffered 5 years of headache and dizziness but thanks a lot of red onions now I’m very fine… Happy life….

  13. Ayaba esther says

    I love white onion & red onion because they are nutritious my children love white onion than red onion

  14. Allyssa says

    I always loved onions. raw. cooked. anything. I love them.

    Depending on the pugnancy of the onion, I like to dip it in ketchup if it is really spicy. But I also like to use olive oil and cool them up with a bit of garlic.

  15. Naaz Syed says

    Mom (Suraiya Shaikh) from Vasai Road; Mumbai; India used to make White-Onion with Alsi (Flaxseed) add tulsi (Basil) leaves add khadi shakhar (Rock-candy or Rock-sugar) with few pappercorns along with Licorice…….Mom used to boiled untill it come downs to 50% than she used to finally add jaggery is very useful ……it fights against cough.

    Also Mom used to keep cutted onion near my son’s pillow in round steel tiffin which has holes in it. so the adour of onion stop ur caugh.

  16. WAIRISH says

    All onions burns me when i try to eat them raw–what do i do? Today i tried yellow/white onion juice–i had a bad experience–i would not do it again. However i have hair loss and would like to be taking raw onion,either in juice form or as salad–do you have suggestion on how i can make it calmer for my digestive tract.

  17. Anonymous says

    I hated all onions till probably my mid 20s. I’m 30 now and love red onions, so much delishious flavor! I don’t care for the other colors, only red!


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